About

The Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group enjoys conserving the rich maritime culture of the North Irish Coast. We do this in a number of ways:

  • Go on a range of expeditions on the Colmcille Curragh.
  • Build traditional racing curraghs.
  • Attend traditional regattas with the Colmcille and racing curraghs.
  • Promote traditional boating along the North Coast of Ireland

 

HISTORY

Established in 1994, the Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group (CCMHG) are working towards conserving some of the rich maritime culture of  the North Irish Coast. The group have forged links with other like minded communities from the shores of Ireland to Scotland and beyond.

The Group have been involved in recreating Historic Celtic Voyages of the Saints and in particular Colmcille/Columba. The 40 foot canvas covered Colmcille Curach travelled to the Scottish Island of Iona in 1997 and later to Northern France and Northern Spain in 2000 and 2001 respectively.  In 2003, the Colmcille returned to Iona with a mixed American and Northern Irish crew, and in the same year, the vessel circumnavigated the island of Ireland, crewed by CCMHG members from various parts of Ireland and Europe, and accompanied by the traditional Basque  fishing vessel Amerikataktik

TRADITIONAL BOATS

We want to keep the traditional marine heritage in the North Coast alive. To do that we make and sail traditional boats such as the Drontheim and Racing Curraghs.

A curach is a timber framed boat covered with a skin.  Originally actual animal skin, in more recent years canvas and fibreglass have been used. The Big Lottery funded the club to build some racing curachs. Together with the North West College and their students the club spent a week building 3 racing curachs and made plans to build more in the coming months on Raithlin. Join us on 20th April to continue working on the boats.

The Drontheim is the traditional wooden boat of the coast from South Donegal to Co. Down and the Western Isles of Scotland. This wooden boat, also called a yawl or shallop, is a wooden, double ended clinker built boat, whose origins stretch back to Viking times.

The name ‘Drontheim’ actually comes from Trontheim in Norway, and we know the lines and design style of the boat stretches back to viking times and the Norwegian craft such as the ‘faering’  which are descents of earlier viking boat styles and building techniques.

Up until the 1960’s, the drontheim was the boat of the north and west coastal areas of Ireland and Scotland. However, with engines becoming the order of the day, the need to have a boat that would sail well, or could be rowed, was no more. The traditional regattas which were a feature of places like Moville, Portstewart, Rathlin Island and Islay, were nearly consigned to history.